Hi there! I'm Sam -- a graphic designer by day at Studio Goldē, and a home decor and renovation enthusiast by night. I'm so excited to be guest posting on the Lagom Home Journal today!
If you follow my Instagram account @homesteenhome, you'll know that my husband and I purchased our 100+ year old 900 square foot home about a year ago. Since we've moved in, we have been updating and renovating room by room.
Most recently, we dove into a kitchen renovation -- completely on our own! We tore out the very few cabinets that we had, installed new Ikea cabinets, tiled a backsplash, built a custom range hood cover... We re-did it all. But after the renovation, I felt like our kitchen was just too generic -- like it could have been picked up and dropped from the Ikea showroom straight into our house. So, I set out to add some cozy and functional decor to make it feel more like "us".
That led me to the beautiful products from lagomhome.com. When I came across the Lagom Home philosophy of choosing the most optimal, not necessarily perfect, solution to create balance and harmony I immediately felt understood! We live in a small, old home. It has its quirks. Is it perfect for us? No. Do we plan on living here forever? Also no. But do we want to enjoy it and create a space that we are proud to call ours in the meantime? YES! I imagine a lot of us feel the same way about our homes.
Another level that I relate to the Lagom philosophy is in the material goods. In a small home, things need to serve multiple purposes. I personally feel stressed when there is clutter sitting around, or when there are products around the house that aren't being used to their full potential. Pulling from the Lagom philosophy once again, I want all the items in our house to have meaning and purpose -- emotional, aesthetic, or functional. I wanted to keep this concept in mind as I began decorating our kitchen.
While "decorating" your kitchen sounds a little bit excessive -- after all, a kitchen primarily needs to be functional -- it is important for me that every room in our home feels inviting and like one more spot where we feel comfortable spending our time. With such limited space in our home, it doesn't make sense to have 1/4 of our square footage be a kitchen space where we want to "just get in and get out of". So, keeping the functionality, aesthetics, and coziness factor in mind, I began thoughtfully choosing decor pieces to help extend that inviting feeling into our kitchen.
I picked up a few timeless, beautiful, high-quality pieces from Lagom Home to help me cozy up our space. After arranging and rearranging the kitchen, I settled on six key "ingredients" that just make the space, and I'm so excited to share them with you!
You know that stained, ratty, workhorse of a tea-towel that we all have? She's great, don't get me wrong, but she doesn't need to be front and center in the kitchen. I'm sorry to break it to you. This is your sign to move her from the spotlight on your stove handle and replace her with a high-quality tea towel.
As soon as I saw the Checkered Guest Towel on Lagom Home I knew it was the perfect quality piece our kitchen needed. The tassels add a special touch to your standard kitchen tea towel and make a great accent to your oven. I can even see myself picking up multiple of this pretty little (it's actually HUGE) towel to beautify the bathroom and serve as a hand towel.
Pretty Dish Soap? What?
Don't let an ugly generic soap bottle ruin the perfectly decorated vibe of your kitchen. I picked up this simple amber pump bottle from Amazon and now we buy bulk dish soap and decant it into this pretty dispenser. Throw on a simple label so nobody gets confused, and you have another functional and beautiful element to your kitchen decor. This is one of my favourite tricks that I use throughout the house -- shampoo, hand soap, lotion... The options are endless. It's pretty, functional, and environmentally friendly -- the best of all worlds!
Now, this concept may not be revolutionary if you're one of those lucky people who have an open concept kitchen with an island, but in our small home it's amazing to have a designated space for someone to sit and visit while we cook. Our home is fairly open concept, however, the kitchen feels a bit disconnected from the rest of the house. A space to sit is the perfect invitation for a guest to join us in the kitchen so we don't feel left out on the fun!
I simply pulled one of the extra vintage chairs from our dining space into the kitchen and added the Clay Striped Cushion to make the chair feel inviting and intentional. I love the vintage feeling that this chair brings to the kitchen, making it feel like the newer finishes blend in with the history of the older home. The linen-like texture of the Lagom Home cushion is ultra inviting, and if anything gets spilled on it, we can simply zip off the cover and throw it in the wash!
It's no secret that I LOVE plants, so naturally, I had to find a spot for my favourite variegated rubber plant in the kitchen. Having a potted plant on your countertop may seem a bit odd but hear me out!
Plants have air-purifying qualities, naturally removing toxins from the air. We may not realise it but there are plenty of toxins and bacteria floating around in our homes and our kitchens. Rubber plants -- among many other plants -- help remove mold spores and bacteria in the air while producing oxygen. I don't know but that sounds like something we all need in our kitchens and our homes.
Not only are plants helping us out by doing the dirty work, but what better way to disguise the ugly cords plugged into your kitchen outlets than a plant. Does your coffee maker look lonely and need a buddy to cozy up to? Why not add a plant. Have I convinced you yet?
Functional Baskets and Bags
During the final stages of our kitchen renovation, it hit me -- why don't we turn the shiplap backsplash into a peg rack? And so we did. I love the addition of this functional vertical space. But how to best utilize it? A wall basket, and mesh bags!
The Lastu Wall Basket from lagomhome.com was made for this peg rack! I love the natural birch material, and the leather loop is so sturdy so I don't have to worry about the weight of the items I store in there. I love the way that using this vertical space keeps clutter off of our counters and gives our produce its own designated and convenient spot.
I'm already dreaming of displaying fresh flowers in a hidden vase in this basket as our flowers bloom this summer...
The final finishing touch to making our once-generic kitchen feel like "us" was some vintage art prints. I hit up the thrift store and found a few of these small, simple, gold frames. I immediately ran home and printed out some vintage paintings -- the quirkier and more unique the better -- filled the frames, and leaned them up on the shiplap ledge. This is a super cost-effective art hack that can be changed out by the season or when you're feeling like switching things up!
I love the way the vintage art fills the space, adds colour, and is perfectly unique. You won't be finding these guys at your local Homesense!
And there you have it! Those are the six key "ingredients" that I think make the world of difference in creating a functional and inviting kitchen. Now I can confidently say that our kitchen no longer feels generic, but instead feels unique, intentional, lived-in, and (most importantly) like "us"!
I love the way the Lagom Home products fit right into our space while adding functionality and beauty. I'm excited to have these pieces in our home for years to come, and can't wait to add a few more Lagom Home pieces to our collection.
I hope you enjoyed learning about my tips for a cozy and functional kitchen, and can incorporate some of these ideas into your own space as well.
Wishing you all the best,